A new survey has revealed the construction industry’s drinking habits – with shocking results.

Over half (54%) of the respondents said they have consumed alcohol the night before operating machinery, while over a third (36%) admit to having knowingly driven over the limit.

The survey conducted by law firm Jefferies Solicitors questioned people working in the building, manufacturing, utilities, engineering and architecture industries, and found that 70% believe that there are techniques to sober up more quickly and 46% find the units measure confusing.

Myths to sober up more quickly included drinking coffee or water, getting some air and having a cold shower, the survey revealed.

Over a third (38%) in the construction industry go for a drink after work and worryingly, 27% drive home afterwards – figures that could drastically increase during the festive season.

However, there was an overarching attitude that the nation would like to be more responsible - 82% think that England should have a stricter policy on drink driving and opt for a zero tolerance approach like Scotland.

Michael Jefferies, managing director of Jefferies Solicitors comments: “During the festive season, along with all other times of the year, it’s very important that people take extra care when operating machinery and driving on the roads, particularly if they’re heading out for a drink. People may be surprised to know that even drinking the night before operating machinery at work the next day can mean alcohol is still in their blood stream the next day, depending on the amount consumed.”

Drinking alcohol before work in any industry can be dangerous, but in a more hands-on environment such as the building and manufacturing industries, it is even more important to be sensible, Mr Jeffries cautioned. Alcohol slows reaction times and affects vision and balance, so any activities that require physical coordination or quick response, including using electrical equipment or ladders can be risky.

“We take on an increasing number of motoring offence claims, including machinery accidents, related to drink driving around this time of year– the types of accidents that can easily be avoided, including those resulting in serious injuries or fatalities,” he concluded.

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